Victor Uwaifo

Victor Uwaifo

Sir Victor Uwaifo (born 1941; the 'Sir' is apocryphal) is a Nigerian musician, famous for his joromi music.

His best-known song, "Guitar Boy and Mamiwater" was a huge hit in 1966. It was inspired by an encounter -- which he has long maintained actually occurred -- with a mami wata (mermaid) while lounging on Bar Beach in Lagos. He also served as commissioner for arts and culture in Edo State under the government of Lucky Igbinedion.


Victor Uwaifo, musician, sculptor, and philosopher was born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria in 1941.


Uwaifo obtained his secondary school education at the Western Boys' High School Benin and St. Gregory's College Lagos, in the years 1957–1961. He studied graphics at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and graduated with distinction in 1961–1963. He received a doctorate from Northgate University, Bellingham, a bachelor's degree first class honors and a master's degree from the University of Benin in 1994, where he read fine and applied arts and majored in sculpture.

Musical career

Uwaifo made history in Nigeria when he won the first Gold Disc record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa presented by Philips, West Africa with his song "Joromi" in 1996. Victor Uwaifo, who has a total of 12 gold discs to date, has traveled to many countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, London, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Paris, Hungary, Rome, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin etc. He also is a lecturer in the department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin, Benin City.

National recognition

The Federal Government of Nigeria, in appreciation of his talents and contributions to Nigeria honored him with a National Honors Merit in 1983, which reads in part " ... whereas you have been nominated and appointed as Member of the Order of the Niger to have and hold and enjoy the privileges of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of the said Order MON."

Uwaifo was the first professional musician in Nigeria to receive such an award. He is a Justice of the Peace and has served in many capacities. Uwaifo was also appointed as the Honorable Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Tourism and Member of the State Executive Council, the highest policy-making decision body in Edo State, 2001–2003.

Appointed as Justice of Peace (JP) Public Notary and Lay Magistrate, Sir Victor Uwaifo has been recognized by four Nigerian Presidents:

*President Shehu Shagari who awarded him the National Honors of MON
*President Buhari who invited him to perform at the Government House
*President Babangida who invited him to a private dinner at the Government House
*President Olusegun Obansonjo, who wrote him a birthday congratulatory message personally signed by the President himself.

International recognition

In 1995, he was invited by the United Nations Staff Day International Committee to perform during the UN Golden Jubilee celebration. Uwaifo is cited in the "Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians", 1983 edition, documented in the "Who's Who in Nigeria", "Who's Who in Africa", "Who's Who in the Commonwealth", and "Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth" sections. He is an Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England, a member of both the Performing Right Society, and of the Advisory Board of American Heritage University, California, U.S.A.

Business enterprises

Uwaifo is the Chairman of Joromi Organization, a multi-track recording and television studio in Benin City. He runs and manages an art gallery and the Victor Uwaifo Hall of Fame.

Personal life

Uwaifo's hobbies include swimming, bodybuilding, gaming, reading, writing, and bringing up children (not his own) in the fear of God so that they will not depart from God when they grow up. He is a Christian, and married with children. []

External links

cite web
last = Amos
first = Ateurist
title = Uwaifo on Religion, Family, Values, House, Music
accessdate = 2008-08-13

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